Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Exploring flight...

Another interesting philosophical dialogue today - but instead of picking up the notebook on the way out I chatted with parents about the children's days... so you will have to wait until tomorrow for that!

But today I can share with you our flight experiment... And the only tools we needed were masking tape, a pen and a balloon.

Tape was put on the floor to mark the starting point so that all the children would stand in the same place for the great balloon release! The balloon was blown up and released by Ellen to show the children how the experiment worked - of course there were lots of giggles as the balloon farted across the room and landed on the floor. I handed a piece of tape to Ellen to put on the floor where the balloon was and the pen so she could write her name!

We then asked the children what they thought would happen - where would all the other balloon releases land?
"In the same place"
"and then you won't be able to see Ellens name because all the tape will be on top"

When asked if anyone else had another hypothesis they all shook their heads, fully believing in the one that was already given. So the experiment began.

Each child came one by one to the line and released their balloon and were amazed that not one single time did the balloon land anywhere remotely near where Ellen's balloon landed. Each child got to write their own name (regardless of whether they could write it yet) - most of the children made squiggles, three wrote their name, one correctly, and some made a series of symbols (one looking seriously like heiroglyphics). One child kept looking up asking for support for her next letter, which she got (this was her first time I saw her trying to write her complete name) and when she came to the "S" she said that she could not - I said do a snake like shape the best you can - she tried slowly slowly and hey-presto a beautiful letter "S" appeared on the paper - she looked at it with great admiration and felt she did not need to write the rest of the letters - she had done enough for today...

Afterwards the children got to look around and explore all the places the balloon had landed and think about their hypothesis and the result...

Not quite as they had expected at all. There was not even one area of the room that was more popular for balloon landings...

At home I did the same experiment with my son... and we did discover balloon landing patterns. Of course doing this experiment with just one child was a lot easier as he was active in the experiment the whole time and did not have to wait and watch others... so we were able to release over 20 balloons... there ended up being 3 small clusters of 4-5 landings and the rest was totally random.

For the children at Filsofiska though, this had been not only a science experiment... but a test of patience...
... after all that patient turn-taking it was time to get outside run and explore the colours of autumn


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